• Bismack Biyombo lets loose. (Getty Images)Bismack Biyombo lets loose. (Getty Images)It may not feel like much right now, with the Cleveland Cavaliers having moved on with the East’s title and two potential champions from Oakland and Oklahoma City looking a giant step removed from the comparatively lacking Toronto Raptors, but one does have to consider where we were six weeks ago with these Raps.

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    Or, 13 months ago. Or two years, and a month ago.

    On April 16 the Raptors dropped Game 1 of their opening round series to the Indiana Pacers, a harmless team led by a president that was tapping his foot in anticipation of firing the team’s coach. Toronto played mostly undistinguished ball and needed seven games to dispatch a Pacer team that needed until the final days of the regular season to even assure its placement in the postseason.

    That Game 1 loss came on the heels of a massively disappointing 2015 first round sweep at the hands of the Washington Wizards, a team that couldn’t even make the playoffs

    Read More »from The Toronto Raptors? Gone till November.
  • SANFORD, Fla. – Kaka glides through difficult topics as easily as he glides past defenders.

    When asked earlier this month at the Orlando City SC training complex about his country's impeachment process, he called the situation "very important for us," saying "we need to change the corruption." But he stopped short of taking a firm stance on the push to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office.

    When asked what he'd change about Major League Soccer, he said, "a lot of things need to change" but quickly provided context: "I don't have enough information. How you trade players, the salary cap, it's something that needs to be better. Today, it's working good, but in the future it needs to be better. The last CBA was good, but could be better. Probably the next CBA will be better and better until it's something really good for everybody."

    On one difficult subject, though, there was no nuance: Brazil's soccer reputation.

    "Brazil, at this moment, needs to get its credibility back," he told

    Read More »from Kaka offers tough but honest assessment of Brazil national team
  • Steve Kerr. (Getty Images)Steve Kerr. (Getty Images)The 2016 Western Conference finals will be decided by a Game 7 on Monday evening. The Golden State Warriors, working from home after returning from a 3-1 series deficit, will take on a smarting Oklahoma City Thunder club.

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    Here are three things to watch, in a setting that could turn into something special:

    Steve’s Shuffle

    One would be rather foolish in presuming that Golden State’s issues – the ones that pushed them toward a 3-1 series deficit in the first place – have completely gone away. Warrior coach Steve Kerr still has his work cut out for him.

    A solid, if not resounding win in Game 5 didn’t take care of things. Game 6’s swish-happy comeback hardly did away with the woes. The Warriors are still facing down the same potential mitigating factors as it hops into a happy Game 7 as it did staring down that 3-1 mark, or those gigantic one-sided affairs that marked their first two trips to Oklahoma City.

    The team’s

    Read More »from Three Things to Watch: Golden State vs. Oklahoma City, Game 7
  • LAS VEGAS – The battle of the UFC’s young and unbeaten knockout artists was no contest.

    Cody Garbrandt is still undefeated after stopping Thomas Almeida. (AP Photo)Cody Garbrandt is still undefeated after stopping Thomas Almeida. (AP Photo)From the moment the bell rang, Cody Garbrandt was dominant over Thomas Almeida in the main event of their bantamweight fight Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

    They entered the bout a combined 29-0 and were seen as the future of the 135-pound division. Almeida, who was 21-0, was ranked fourth, though Garbrandt was unranked.

    But in racking up his ninth win in as many tries, Garbrandt pretty much guaranteed that he’ll be way up in the rankings when they come out later in the week.

    “When the lights are shining, that’s when I’m at my best,” Garbrandt said.

    Garbrandt knocked Almeida out with a brutal right cross that sent the Brazilian crashing to the canvas. The super aggressive Garbrandt could have pulled a Mark Hunt and simply walked away, because it was obviously over the moment that right landed.

    But Garbrandt was amped and out to make a point and he followed Almeida to the floor before

    Read More »from Cody Garbrandt flattens Thomas Almeida to remain undefeated
  • Chris Bosh on the Heat bench. (Getty Images)Chris Bosh on the Heat bench. (Getty Images)A new report out of Miami details just how desperate Miami Heat All-Star big man Chris Bosh was to play down the stretch of the 2015-16 season, despite working on medication provided to help save him from his life-threatening blood clots.

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    Bosh, who has been forced to sit out each of the last two seasons from February onward, reportedly wanted to time his blood thinner medication intake in a way that would allow him to still play evening games.

    The Heat center, who last played on February 9, reportedly had comeback after comeback attempt thwarted by Miami brass, who remain fearful for his health.

    From Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald:

    According to a team source, the Bosh camp spent considerable time exploring the idea of Bosh continuing to take those blood thinners, but at a time of day (such as early morning) that the medication would be out of his bloodstream by game time.

    Someone with knowledge of the

    Read More »from Report: Chris Bosh, Heat still at odds over his comeback attempts
  • For ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov, the idea of a superfight with fellow champion Shinya Aoki is still an interesting one.

    Gafurov successfully defended his title recently with another submission victory, locking up a rear-naked choke on DEEP featherweight champion Kazunori Yokota at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS.

    For the 31-year-old Russian, it was his fourteenth win in 14 fights, including the last five with ONE. All five of those victories have been submission wins – his patented rear-naked choke hold.

    As for that much-talked about matchup with Aoki, the reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion, that is up to officials.

    “If the negotiations go good with (ONE Championship), I will be happy to challenge him,” Gafurov said.

    Despite being a submission specialist with 10 tap-out victories to his credit, the Champion gym fighter from Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan was looking to showcase his other skills vs. Yokota.

    “I really don’t care how I win the fight,” he said. “I was trying

    Read More »from Marat Gafurov Intrigued by Possible Superfight with Shinya Aoki
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    A left hook, followed up by a soccer kick, was all that Timofey Nastyukhin needed at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS to place his name in the history books.

    Nastyukhin tied the record for fastest knockout in ONE history when he finished Rob Lisita in their featured bout. After connecting with a left hook, Lisita dropped to the canvas. That’s when the Russian teed off with a single technical ground kick, forcing the referee to signal an end to the fight.

    “I did not expect this fight to be so short,” Nastyukhin said. “I was ready for a long fight. He pushed forward, I threw two punches, and the punches dropped him. I landed the soccer kick and the knockout happened. That was it.”

    Nastyukhin (10-2) earned the tenth finish of his career with the win, with six of them being via knockout or TKO. The 26-year-old from Novokuznetsk, Russia is 3-1 since signing with ONE in 2014, with all three of his wins being first round stoppages.

    Following the perfectly-timed hook that first dropped Lisita, Nastyukhin

    Read More »from Timofey Nastyukhin Makes History with six-second KO at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS
  • After securing his fifth first-round win in six months, 5-0 Christian Lee has been drawing immense attention to himself. 

    The undefeated 17-year-old rising star of Singaporean MMA most recently put away heavy-handed striker Rocky “The Outlaw” Batolbatol at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS on 27 May. Lee’s lightning-quick kicks and precise punches proved too much for his Filipino rival, who verbally submitted after receiving a devastating knee to his head.

    “I’m so happy right now,” divulged the assistant instructor and youngest fight team member of Evolve MMA, whose sister and teammate Angela Lee too has been the recipient of unceasing media attention as the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion. “I couldn’t have planned [my fight strategy] more perfect[ly].”

    The agile young featherweight has three technical knockouts under his belt, as well as two submissions – an Anaconda choke victory over Cary Bullos and a kimura submission over Mahmoud Mohamed.

    “I’m just going to go back home and train my

    Read More »from Christian Lee: “Every Day the Only Thing on my Mind is that ONE Championship World Title”
  • On 27 May 2016,Asia’s largest MMA promotion ONE championship held its first-ever live event in Thailand, in Bangkok’s 9,000-seater Impact Arena.

    Highlighted by several memorable knockouts and submissions, the event was a fitting start to ONE Championship’s foray into the lucrative Thai market, albeit one that was spoiled somewhat by local hero Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke losing his ONE Strawweight World Championship to Yoshitaka Naito in the main event.

    Christian Lee winning yet again

    Christian Lee, the lanky brother of ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, managed to keep his brutal boxer of an opponent, Rocky “The Outlaw” Batolbatol, at bay with swift kicks from his long legs. 

    The Singaporean Evolve MMA featherweight competitor brought the raucous crowd to their feet when he rushed Filipino Batolbatol with punches and a nasty knee to the latter’s head, before extending his perfect MMA record to five finishes in five matches when the grounded Filipino boxer verbally

    Read More »from 4 Top Highlights of ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS
  • Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will look to get back on track to regain his championship when he faces Ben Rothwell at UFC 203 from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Sept. 10. The announcement came during the UFC Fight Night 88 main card on Fox Sports 1.

    Fabricio Werdum will fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 203 in Cleveland. Fabricio Werdum will fight Ben Rothwell at UFC 203 in Cleveland. Werdum will be on the same card with the man who knocked him out to take his title at UFC 198 as Stipe Miocic will headline in his hometown against Alistair Overeem for the UFC heavyweight championship.

    The Brazilian will look to reset after losing for the first time in seven fights when Miocic dropped him with one punch. Before then, Werdum had one of most intriguing stories in MMA. After losing to Overeem in 2011 at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, he appeared to turn a corner and peeled off six straight victories that culminated in beating Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 188 last June.

    His opponent has experienced a similar resurgence over the past few years. Rothwell had won four

    Read More »from Fabricio Werdum, Ben Rothwell set for UFC 203 heavyweight clash

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